1. US Coast Guard and US Navy. "Bermuda Triangle Fact Sheet." (below)
2. US Navy. "The Bermuda Triangle: A Selective Bibliography."
3. Rosenberg, Howard, "Exorcising the Devil's Triangle," Sealift 24, No. 6, (June 1974) 11-15
4. Loss of Flight 19 FAQ
5. USS Cyclops history
Bermuda Triangle Fact Sheet
Prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters and the Naval Historical Center
U. S. Board of Geographic Names does not recognize the Bermuda Triangle
as an official name and does not maintain an official file on the area.
The "Bermuda or Devil's Triangle" is an imaginary area located off the
southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States, which is noted for a
high incidence of unexplained losses of ships, small boats, and
aircraft. The apexes of the triangle are generally accepted to be
Bermuda, Miami, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In the past, extensive, but futile Coast Guard searches prompted by
search and rescue cases such as the disappearances of an entire
squadron of TBM Avengers shortly after take off from Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., or the traceless sinking of USS Cyclops and Marine Sulphur Queen
have lent credence to the popular belief in the mystery and the supernatural
qualities of the "Bermuda Triangle."
Countless theories attempting to explain the many disappearances have
been offered throughout the history of the area. The most practical
seem to be environmental and those citing human error. The majority of
disappearances can be attributed to the area's unique environmental
features. First, the "Devil's Triangle" is one of the two places on
earth that a magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally
it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is
known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much
as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. If this compass
variation or error is not compensated for, a navigator could find
himself far off course and in deep trouble.
An area called the "Devil's Sea" by Japanese and Filipino seamen,
located off the east coast of Japan, also exhibits the same magnetic
characteristics. It is also known for its mysterious disappearances.
Another environmental factor is the character of the Gulf Stream. It is
extremely swift and turbulent and can quickly erase any evidence of a
disaster. The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic weather pattern also
plays its role. Sudden local thunder storms and water spouts often
spell disaster for pilots and mariners. Finally, the topography of the
ocean floor varies from extensive shoals around the islands to some of
the deepest marine trenches in the world. With the interaction of the
strong currents over the many reefs the topography is in a state of
constant flux and development of new navigational hazards is swift.
Not to be under estimated is the human error factor. A large number of
pleasure boats travel the waters between Florida's Gold Coast and the
Bahamas. All too often, crossings are attempted with too small a boat,
insufficient knowledge of the area's hazards, and a lack of good
The Coast Guard is not impressed with supernatural explanations of
disasters at sea. It has been their experience that the combined forces
of nature and unpredictability of mankind outdo even the most far
fetched science fiction many times each year.
We know of no maps that delineate the boundaries of the Bermuda
Triangle. However, there are general area maps available through the
Distribution Control Department, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office,
Washington, D.C. 20390. Of particular interest to students if
mysterious happenings may be the "Aeromagnetic Charts of the U.S.
Coastal Region," H.O. Series 17507, 15 sheets. Numbers 9 through 15
cover the "Bermuda Triangle."
Interest in the "Bermuda Triangle" can be traced to (1) the
cover article in the August 1968 Argosy, "The Spreading Mystery
of the Bermuda Triangle", (2) the answer to a letter to the editor of
the January 1969 Playboy, and (3) an article in August 4, 1968 I, "Limbo of Lost Ships", by
Leslie Lieber. Also, many newspapers carried a December 22, 1967
National Geographic Society news release which was derived largely from
Vincent Gaddis' Invisible Horizons: True Mysteries of the Sea
(Chilton Books, Philadelphia, 1965. OCLC# 681276) Chapter 13, "The
Triangle of Death", in Mr. Gaddis' book, presents the most
comprehensive account of the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Gaddis
describes nine of the more intriguing mysteries and provides copious
notes and references. Much of the chapter is reprinted from an article
by Mr. Gaddis, "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle", in the February 1964 Argosy.
The article elicited a large and enthusiastic response from the
magazine's readers. Perhaps the most interesting letter, which appeared
in the May 1964 Argosy's "Back Talk" section, recounts a mysterious
and frightening incident in an aircraft flying over the area in 1944.